College taps KFD assistant

chief to lead fire academy


Kilgore College is pleased to announce that Michael D. Simmons will become the new director of the KC Fire Academy pending board approval.

Simmons is also working on a new online fire academy program to replace the previous online program at KC.

“We’re shifting gears with our online fire program, but contrary to some rumors, it’s not closing,” said Randy Lewellen, KC’s dean of Public Services and Industrial Technologies. “We’re excited about re-opening the online portion of our fire academy as soon as possible under the direction of someone with as much experience as Mike Simmons.”

Simmons will become full-time at KC in November but is scheduled to be on campus each week until then to oversee the academy.

He will replace Ronnie Gothard who retired at the end of May after serving as the director of the KC Fire Academy for more than 10 years.

Simmons is currently the Assistant Chief of Operations at the Kilgore Fire Department, a position he has held since 2012. He also serves as coordinator of the City of Kilgore Emergency Management and is on the board of directors of the Texas Association of Fire Educators (TAFE).

He served as a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Garland from 1997-2010 and was a training specialist for the city of Garland from 2010-12.

Simmons has also served since 2002 as training captain for the North Texas Fire Academy/EMT School and is president of the board of directors for the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department.

The KC Fire Academy is recognized by the State of Texas as an Exemplary Program and is accredited by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association.


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